Friday, October 26th, 2012

MAC Fabulousness / Warm Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Warm Eye Palette

Is Your Avera

MAC Fabulousness / Warm Eye Palette ($39.50 for 0.14 oz.) contains five eyeshadows: Glamour Light (soft beige frost), Retrospeck (bleached blonde), Honesty (pewtered bronze), Cognac (frosty golden bronze), and Sketch (burgundy with red shimmer). Honesty, Retrospeck, and Sketch are all available as part of the permanent range.

Whew! There is not a lot of product in this palette! For reference, MAC eyeshadow quads ($38.00) typically contain 0.19 to 0.20 oz. (about 0.05 oz. per eyeshadow). Last year’s holiday eyeshadow palettes contained 0.21 oz. (and retailed for $38.00). The prior year’s holiday palettes contained 0.19 oz. (and retailed for $36.00). You used to get six shades, but with this year’s design, you’re getting five.

Glamour Light is a pale golden beige. This has a satin finish. It is a little sheer, but it is a very light shade overall–it tended to disappear against my skin tone in particular, unfortunately! Cinderella A Wish is similar. MAC Sahara Dust is less warm. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is very similar. MAC Dazzlelight is lighter.

Retrospeck is light-medium gold subdued by brown. This has a lustre finish, so it has a fair amount of sparkle and doesn’t apply really smoothly. It’s part of the permanent range. Chanel Apparence is darker. Buxom Poodle is yellower.

Honesty is a coppery orange-brown with lighter copper shimmer and sheen. It is pretty sheer, and it was very, very dry. This has a lustre finish, but it is so much drier and less pigmented in this palette than it is in permanent form. Urban Decay Penny Lane is a bit lighter. MAC Star Myth is darker, redder.

Cognac is a molten golden bronze. This has a frost finish. This was the best performing shade out of all three palettes–it was soft, smooth, richly pigmented, and easy to blend out. Inglot #404 is a bit lighter. Urban Decay Rush is darker, less warm. MAC Romp is darker, browner. Urban Decay Honey is less brown, more golden. MAC Old Gold is similar but has that green-ish sheen.

Sketch is a dark burgundy with a smattering of barely-there-sparkle that you really can’t see once it’s applied. This has a velvet finish. It had good color payoff, and it blended out without trouble when I used it. theBalm Moderato is more subdued. theBalm Sexy is browner.

This palette was the best out of the there eyeshadow palettes (and while I have to crunch the numbers, my big picture view is saying this is the best out of all the palettes).  Retrospeck and Honesty have fall out, being that they’re lustres, with Honesty being a bigger offender.  (I feel like I’m making excuses; it’s like “well, it’s not horrible, so at least that’s good, right?”)  Glamour Light works but could use a softer, denser texture to yield slightly more pigment–it would make it a more versatile shade.  Cognac was really lovely and easy to work with; if the whole palette was like that, we’d have A-quality.  Sketch is true-to-form and is nicely pigmented and dark.  It’s soft enough to be blendable (could be a little easier, though) but is not powdery.

The Glossover

palette

Fabulousness Warm

B-
One great eyeshadow (and another good eyeshadow--Sketch) isn't enough to make up for the rest of the palette's drawbacks (primarily, fall out, as well as some weaker pigmentation).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, October 26th, 2012

MAC Fabulousness / Smoky Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Smoky Eye Palette

Up in Smoke This Set Goes

MAC Fabulousness / Smoky Eye Palette ($39.50 for 0.14 oz.) contains five eyeshadows: Taupeless (lavender pink), Satin Taupe (taupe with silver shimmer), Love Spice (mid-tone rosy pink with pearl), Spellcaster (matte aubergine), and Black Slip (rich blackened plum with pearl).

For reference, MAC eyeshadow quads ($38.00) typically contain 0.19 to 0.20 oz. (about 0.05 oz. per eyeshadow). Last year’s holiday eyeshadow palettes contained 0.21 oz. (and retailed for $38.00). The prior year’s holiday palettes contained 0.19 oz. (and retailed for $36.00). You used to get six shades, but with this year’s design, you’re getting five.

Taupeless is a light pink with silvery-white sparkle. It has a lustre finish, so it is a bit sheerer and has lots of sparkle. I did experience a fair amount of fall out with this shade. This shade has been released before. Chanel Harmonie du Soir is a bit warmer, less sparkly. MAC Love Power is similar but less sparkly. MAC Young Venus is cooler-toned. theBalm Safe Bet Annette is slightly warmer.

Satin Taupe is a medium brown with subtle warm orange undertones and a gray-ish tinge. It doesn’t look like the permanent Satin Taupe at all. It had decent color payoff but it was a little dry. Guerlain Turandot is darker. Dior Fairy Golds is also darker.

Love Spice is a rosy-toned medium brown with a champagne shimmer-sheen. The color payoff was so-so, and the texture was a little dry. Giorgio Armani Champagne is similar but browner. Cle de Peau #207 is similar but grayer and sparkly. MAC Pink Frontier is a touch lighter. MAC Jete is darker. MAC desert is a bit grayer. MAC Earthly is grayer. Here’s a swatch of the permanent Satin Taupe.

Spellcaster is a matte, dark purple with subtle red undertones. It was dry, stiff, and was a pain-in-the-behind to blend. It’s an eyeshadow that you have to grab a lot of, place it, go back for more, place it, and then try to blend those together. Normally, I’d take some product, apply it to the middle of the area I wanted it to be, then I’d take the brush back and forth to blend it out. It just doesn’t work with the texture of this shade. NARS High Society is lighter. MAC Dynamic Duo #4 has a similar shade that was better pigmented. Urban Decay Rockstar is a little lighter and shimmery.

Black Slip is a red-toned brown with hints of burgundy and bronze shimmer. It had good pigmentation, and it was the best performer out of the five. The texture was a lot softer and more blendable. Urban Decay Rapture is lighter. Illamasqua Queen of the Night is not as frosted. MAC Winterized is grayer, less red-toned.

Taupeless had some significant fall out while I wore it, which wasn’t a total surprise, because it had a sparkly, kind of gritty/chunky texture that is common to lustres (which I rarely have good experiences with).  Satin Taupe is unrecognizable in this palette–I’m left wondering if this is even meant to be one and the same as the permanent version.  If not, they really should have named it something else.  Black Slip was the best eyeshadow, but I would say that it is a good but not great eyeshadow.   Spellcaster works really well with the rest of the colors in the palette, but it is difficult to blend and was noticeably faded after eight hours of wear, even over a primer.  I couldn’t get all of these shades to show up without a primer underneath; Black Slip and Spellcaster were the only ones that showed up decently without a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Fabulousness Smoky

C
Not as bad as the Neutral Eye Palette, but it's not a particularly good palette. It's not where I would spend my holiday money.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC How to Marry Eyeshadow
MAC How to Marry Eyeshadow

A Story of Four Misses

MAC Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) include these four shades How to Marry (soft white), Preferred Blonde (pale champagne beige), Showgirl (dark blue grey), and Silver Screen (true silver). All four are supposed to have a veluxe pearl finish, and they are double the size of a regular MAC eyeshadow.

How to Marry is a pale, cool-toned white with so-so color payoff and a frosted finish. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very, very similar–and it has better color payoff and is part of the permanent range! Maybelline Too Cool is similar but a cream product. theBalm Sassy is similar. Bobbi Brown White is matte. Bare Escentuals Cheers is also similar.

Preferred Blonde is a warm white with a hint of champagne and a frosted finish. It has semi-sheer color payoff. MAC White Frost is whiter. theBalm Envious Erin is warmer. MAC Dazzlelight is a smidgen more beige. MAC Vanilla is not as shimmery.

Showgirl is a medium-dark navy blue with a hint of purple and a silver shimmer. It has so-so pigmentation, but it is a little dry and stiff. MAC Bright Moon is more metallic. MAC Frozen Blue is lighter. theBalm Matt Horowitz is a bit darker. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is more purple.

Silver Screen is a sheer silver-white with a frosted finish. If it was more opaque, you could get more of a metallic sheen out of it. Buxom Sheepdog is very close but cream. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a very similar shade. MAC Filament is similar but it also has some quality issues. MAC Misty is similar but more metallic.

Three of the four really look very similar, and even on, it was hard to tell where one shade ended and the other began. The dusty, powdery quality of the texture of these made it difficult to apply and made them prone to fading and fall out post-application. I tried applying them over bare lids, over primer (NARS Smudgeproof), and used damp.  I really couldn’t get half-decent payoff without using a primer and using them wet and packing the color on. “Highly pigmented powder” they are not.  Here’s my thinking: if you dig the colors, consider creating a quad using these four permanent MAC eyeshadows: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Contrast, and Electra.

On a different note, I think the composition of these four was disappointing. I would have loved to have seen a matte shade or two, which would have fit with the theme, and it would have made for more versatile and dynamic looks. I didn’t feel like these shades went well with the lipsticks (the bluish-gray was definitely throwing everything off), and it was frost overload.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

product

MAC Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches

D
Here's my thinking: if you dig the colors, consider creating a quad using these four permanent MAC eyeshadows: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Contrast, and Electra.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Sahara Dust (light neutral beige), Cactus Thorn (mid-tone brown bronze), Desert (shimmering warm taupe), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Sand Storm (soft sheer warm caramel).

Sahara Dust is a pale beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a satin finish, officially. The color payoff is decent, and it works well as a highlighter on the brow bone or inner tear duct. Illamasqua Slink is similar, slightly frostier. MAC Brule is more matte. Giorgio Armani Madreperla has a frostier finish. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Vanilla is a touch lighter.

Cactus Thorn is a softened bronze-shimmered medium-dark brown. It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is good, though the texture was a bit dry. Dior Golden Savannaha is darker, browner. Giorgio Armani #26 is more shimmery. Urban Decay Chase is warmer and more metallic. theBalm Schitzo is very similar, but more pigmented and slightly more golden-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is richer.

Desert is a gray-tinged brown with a hint of plum. It has a satin finish. It has decent color payoff but had a dry, stiffer texture. Bobbi Brown Slate is softer, more matte. MAC Aurora is lighter, more frosted. Dolce &G abbana Jewels is grayer. Inglot #360 is similar but matte.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. I feel like every time I swatch Carbon, it gets worse. And I’m not swatching the same one! This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt! Because I happened to also have a really rich black that I was swatching (completely unplanned!) that was insanely pigmented, I took a comparison photo, just so you can see why Carbon is such a disappointment.

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Sand Storm is a warm, orange-tan with a soft, barely dewy finish (it read mostly matte when it dried down and set). There’s a yellowy-orange undertone that comes through. MAC Lush-Light is darker, browner. MAC Refined Golden is browner. MAC Tan Tint is a smidgen darker. It can be used sheerly with ease, and it can be built up a bit, though I’m not sure it will show up well on darker complexions–it just barely shows on mine (I’m about NC30 at the moment). It may add warmth without adding noticeable color. Yesterday, when I was testing the wear, my cheeks were slightly dry, and this wasn’t forgiving, unfortunately. I was hoping that the creamy consistency would help and was happy that I was testing a cream blush instead of a powder one, LOL! After six hours, it had separated and faded noticeably.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

It’s a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole.  The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with.  Sand Storm didn’t have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially.  These eyeshadows were less stellar without a primer–they were less blendable and faded after six hours. Over a primer, I saw some minor fading of Desert and Carbon.  

It’s hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal. I keep hoping for a stellar launch from MAC, but they aren’t making it easy at all.

I’ll have my review for the Jungle Camouflage palette up soon, but as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more shimmery, while Jungle Camouflage is more matte.

The Glossover

palette

Desert Camouflage

B-
It's a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole. The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with. Sand Storm didn't have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially. It's hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Illustrated - Smoky Eye Plum Kit
MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

New from MAC – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit ($49.50) includes three eyeshadows, two travel-sized brushes, Technakohl Eyeliner, and a travel-sized Zoom Lash mascara. It’s a Nordstrom exclusive set and available both in-stores and online. There is another palette available, but it contains all permanent shades, so I only purchased this one for review.

  • Creative Whim is a pale lilac with subtle cool undertones and a soft white frost. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was just so-so–there was obvious sheerness. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 is similar but more metallic in finish, slightly less pink. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is paler, cooler-toned. MAC Silverwear is lighter.
  • Drawn to Drama is a darkened violet purple with a blue shimmer-sheen. The texture was on the dry side, which you can even see in the swatch, which resulted in decent pigmentation but nothing to get excited over. Urban Decay Ransom is lighter. MAC Pink Union is brighter, more red-toned. MAC Parfait Amour is lighter. Urban Decay Frigid is nearly the same. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is more subdued.
  • Moody is a brown-tinged medium-dark gray with a satiny sheen. It is a veluxe pearl, and it is also a repromote. The texture of this is not at all like your typical veluxe pearl, because it lacks the buttery, dense feel. The color payoff is lacking, and it’s not usually the case with veluxe pearls that pigmentation is a problem. Instead, Moody feels dry and applies that way, making it difficult to blend out. Shocker of shocks! — it’s from an old nemesis, Evil Eye, where I actually made the same observations then as I did today. MAC Hint of Sapphire and Inglot #434 are most similar to this.
  • Purple Dash is a red-toned plum with subtle shimmer-sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Make Up For Ever #4L is just like this shade.  Technakohls tend to wear between six and eight hours on me.

All three eyeshadows are full-sized ($45.00 value), and the eyeliner is also full-sized ($14.50 value). The travel-sized mascara is half the size of a full-sized one ($7.50 value), and it’s hard to put a value on the travel-sized brushes. The brushes were scratchy when I tried using them, and I’m not a huge fan of the 212 as a good multi-purpose/general brush. It’s more of a specific action brush, so I don’t think it makes sense to include it in a set like this (you’d probably one brush to apply eyeshadow and another to blend it out). Though Nordstrom lists the value at $100, I’d put the value around $67 realistically.

While I personally like the collection’s illustrations, this palette is unwieldy. It’s just unnecessarily large, and it really does so in order to hold the brushes, eyeliner, and mascara. This might be something that would have worked better if they had made it a double-decker palette and hidden the brushes and eyeliner underneath the eyeshadow and mascara.  Too bulky to be a great travel palette!

I tried wearing the three shades together, and the nice thing about them is they coordinate well with each other.  The downside is that none of them are good eyeshadows; they’re all disappointing in some way or another.  All three shades suffer from lack of pigmentation, and Drawn to Drama and Moody are very dry and are difficult to blend during application.  Without a primer, they wore seven hours before looking a bit faded. With a primer, they lasted a full eight hours without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Illustrated's Smoky Eye Plum Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
I don't know if I've ever given so many D+ grades in a week, but here's another one for you! I imagine most will be interested in the palette for the eyeshadows over the travel-sized brushes, mascara, and eyeliner, so go out and buy three good MAC eyeshadows individually and save $4.50. It's not a value if the products included are sub-par.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Barefoot Eyeshadow

MAC Hey, Sailor: Eyeshadows

MAC Hey, Sailor Eyeshadows ($16.00 for 0.05 oz.) includes five shades: Barefoot (tarnished gold), Crystal Avalanche (white with reflects), Feeling Fresh (bright green), Jaunty (light yellow beige), and Nautical Navy (blue).

  • Barefoot is a dirty warm gold with hints of bronze. This has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture was soft but it wasn’t fully opaque–there’s some sheerness in it. The color has a lot of warmth and some orange in it, so it doesn’t look like your traditional yellow gold. It’s not quite subdued enough or brown enough to be the average antique/tarnished gold. OCC Acacia is lighter. Bare Escentuals Remix is a bit lighter and yellower. MAC Goldmine is yellower and lighter. Inglot #404 is darker and more bronze. Milani Drenched in Gold is a little lighter, less orange.
  • Crystal Avalanche is a highly frosted bright white. This is part of the permanent range, and it has a veluxe pearl finish. It had the best color payoff of the five shades in the launch. It can be an interesting shade to use, because of both its brightness and the frostiness of its finish, so using a light touch with it may be best. Maybelline Too Cool is a bit cooler-toned. theBalm Sassy is a bit more frosted. Bare Escentuals Cheers is very close. Inglot #453 is more metallic.
  • Feeling Fresh is a grassy green with yellow undertones and a silver sparkle. It felt more like a velvet finish to me, but it is a frost. The color payoff is pretty disappointing when swatched, and it has a dry texture that skips and doesn’t bind together well. I wasn’t able to get it to apply well over bare lids, but over a primer and packed on with the 213, I was able to achieve true-to-pan vibrancy. It’s much yellower compared to MAC Jealousy Wakes. OCC Foxfire is lighter, yellower. MAC Fresh Flare is a bit darker. MAC Wondergrass is much yellower and brighter. Inglot #384 is darker, yellower.
  • Jaunty is a warm, light-medium beige with a slightly metallic sheen. This has a frost finish. The color payoff is so-so, but I imagine most people who gravitate towards this shade will like some of that underlying transparency. Buxom Collie is a bit darker. NARS Ramatuelle is lighter.
  • Nautical Navy is a dark navy blue with soft blue and silver shimmer. This has a satin finish. The texture is very, very dry, stiff, and chalky. It skips on the skin, and it still continued to behave poorly when I applied it to the lid both over a primer and over bare lids. MAC Naval Blue is similar but more intense, a little brighter/bluer. MAC Lunar is very comparable. MAC Shop & Drop is also very similar. There’s really no shortage of navy blues on the market, all with varying degrees of quality, but the majority are better than this one.

I think people will like these shades, but I don’t think they’re the best in regards to quality.  Barefoot, Crystal Avalanche, and Jaunty are the best out of the five, while Nautical Navy is by far the worst.  Feeling Fresh isn’t superb, but if you use it over a primer, it’s much, much better, which I suspect is how many readers use their eyeshadows, so it’s not lots and lots of extra effort. Nautical Navy is extremely dry and stiff, which makes blending difficult and getting intense color nearly impossible.

With an eyeshadow primer, I had no wear problems with these eyeshadows, and I’ve worn all five (three on one day, five the next). There was no creasing or fading after eight hours of wear over a primer.  MAC does indicate these are long-wearing, so I also tested them without a primer, and there’s very slight creasing after eight hours and some fading.

The Glossover

product

MAC Hey, Sailor Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Jaunty is actually my favorite out of the collection--it's soft, neutral, and very wearable on all skin tones. Feeling Fresh is workable/buildable, even though it's not stellar in all ways. Barefoot would be my next pick, but it could be a little more pigmented. Crystal Avalanche is permanent, so you can purchase it for a $1 less in regular packaging.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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